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Sweet woodruff is one of my favourite items. Once dried the sweet scent is wonderful. Drinks, cakes, ferments are just a few ways to use it.

GeorgeFlavour Fred
🌱SWEET WOODRUFF 🌱 (Galium odoratum)

This is one of my favourite springtime plants. When dried it contains a chemical called Coumarin which has a sweet smell and tastes like new mown hay. It is used as a flavouring for sweet and savoury dishes. As it’s dry it’s a great dry store item to use all year round. Recently I worked with @squarerootldn for a drink with it in sold @tateeats @tate for the Cézanne exhibition.

In Germany it is known as “Waldmeister” which means woodsman (& woodruff) and that is because it’s found in woods and also is an ancient woodland indicating plant. This is a very helpful tool when planning locations to come back to for fungi foraging. You can buy it and grow in the garden but the flavour profile is much more grassy and not as potent (in my experience).

Drinks, wines (“Maibowle” – Maycup / May wine), cakes, creams and more are infused with this lovely flavour and some may also have seen it dropped into a Berliner Weisse at this time of year.

The Polish Zabrowka vodka is flavoured with bison grass which contains the same compound. Therefore you can use Sweet Woodruff in the same way and you only need a sprig as it’s so potent.

There is caution with this plant as if it is not dried quickly can produce di-coumarin which has blood thinning properties. Coumarin should also be used responsibly as large quantities can be dangerous.


Author george

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